10 Questions with Tony Kornheiser

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6. New York Times

RCS: You also wrote for the New York Times, which is possibly on the brink of financial bankruptcy. What will it mean for journalism if it collapses?

Kornheiser: If the Times collapses? You make it sound like the Berlin Wall. You make it sound like the fall of the Soviet empire. It’s not going to collapse as much as I suspect it’s going to mutate.

We’re not going to have a world without the Times. We may have a world without the Times in print. We may have a world without the Washington Post in print. We may have a world without the LA Times in print. My guess is the last one to hold out will be the Wall Street Journal because the WSJ has a niche in business.  It’s not trying to be what the Times and the Washington Post are trying to be.

What’s going to happen to journalism? It’s going to change.

You have so many people out there now who rely on others to do journalism for them. And they sit back on a high chair and they comment on the news and without knocking them 'cause God knows that’s what I do now. When there’s no news, what are they going to comment on?  The absence of journalism in great numbers is a bad idea.

My kids like news but they don’t read newspapers. Reading newspapers on your phone is a new world to me. Someone said this to me the other day, and I’m stealing it: The difference between my children, who are 26 and 22, and me is so much greater than the difference between me and my parents. It’s unbelievable. I mean, we had a generational divide between things like music, behavior.  Not technology there were still cars, there was nothing new. The internet changed all of that.  The way news is delivered, the way your life is delivered, the instantaneous ability to communicate around the world.  I didn’t have that, my parents didn’t have that.  My kids have that, they’ve left me in the dust.  I don’t what the hell they’re talking about.

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